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Sunday, January 23

part two: found

At the end of part one, I was off to keep a date with a young man named Oliver. Let me tell you about him.

I was at work one day, waiting for a line of ticket buyers that never showed because they all bought on line that morning. We were all surfing the web to stay awake. I had been contemplating adding another dog to the fur contingent of our family. Quincy is a great dog, but he is powerful and active and capable of dragging me down the street if a squirrel should cross his path. He is also Russell's dog pretty much. He literally stares at him with love sick eyes, I swear. And lays across his lap whenever the need arises. Which is always. When Billy and Leisha had us babysit their dogs a while back, Q was happy and entertained and it seemed to calm him.

So, I was surfing rescue sites. At a great place called Joyful Rescues I found several pups that fit our needs. I filled out the application and waited to see if we were approved. My neighbor called the next day to say they had called her for a reference. I was happy that they really did check on potential adopters.

So, the next day, off we went, in a snow storm, to Cuba NY. Waaay too far to go on a snowy day, but off we went anyway, into the beautiful hills of the Southern Tier. GPS and the site's own directions got us there. Up this hill and down that one. Until we saw the sign and, taking a deep breath, asking each other if we were sure, we followed the cacophony of barks and howls to the main building.

We were met by Joye, the amazing woman who now devotes her life and home and land to the cause of saving abused and abandoned animals. The building is set up so that the pups can enter and exit at will, running free in their enclosed, huge yard. There is a dog house for new kids to get acclimated and a cat house which we did not visit because we already have two of those. The dog I had initially been drawn to was pending adoption and the other was off running in the huge yard. Joye said he seldom came inside, I knew he would not be happy in the city. But we have some new dogs, she said and off we went to the dog house.

There we saw 3 dogs that grabbed our hearts. A white, wiry haired terrier mix with a joyful attitude, a dachshund/terrier mix that was adorable and affectionate and a Yorkie that scooted out of his cage when the door was opened and went off to round up the other guys for a romp. All were perfect, but Russell picked up he Yorkie and he snuggled right into Russell's neck and went limp with love. Uh oh, I thought.

I love Yorkies. They are incredibly cute and funny. But I picture Legally Blonde with the little dog in designer duds. Or Paris Hilton toting one in a Gucci bag. This is not me, folks. I am a Golden Retriever kind of woman, looking for a dog just a bit smaller than that. A dog I can walk, that would nap on my lap. This dog weighed less than a can of Folgers. OK, I said, give him to me. And he snuggled into my neck and sighed. I tried looking at the other dogs, but "Casey Dean" had our hearts back in his cage at the dog house. We'll sleep on it, I told her. OK, Joye agreed, but I'll just hold him for one day.

We talked all the way home. Pros and Cons. Would Q take to a dog that was about the size of his favorite stuffed toy? He tears stuffed toys apart. Did I really want a 6 pound dog? Is that really a dog? He is so cute. And affectionate. Casey had been turned in by his owners because they said he was skittish around the kids. I think kids and toy dogs are a bad mix often. Joye agreed. The dog was fine in the dog house. She thought the problem was the kids. But you can't turn them in.

By the time we got home we had pretty much settled on a new name for the pup...Oliver. And I knew we would call Joye in the morning to say we wanted to adopt him.

Oliver was being neutered that day and, if all was well, we could pick him up close to home at one of their adoption events at a PetSmart. Done deal.

It was a joyful scene at PetSmart. Dogs everywhere-on leashes and in the arms of the volunteers. Go get your dog, one of them said, smiling, and we took him from the arms of a volunteer that was loathe to let him go.

They gave us lots of free stuff for him and coupons to help pay for the rest. We got him a collar and leash that matched his colors, a teeny bowl and we were off. As we were leaving, one of the volunteers raved about Ollie's new Burberry leash and collar. I had purchased designer duds for a dog. I was doomed;

On the way home, my neighbor Jolene called to tell us she had found a "hoodie" for Oliver and I laughed and laughed. Oh Lordy.

First stop at home was, of course, across the street to see Jolene and introduce Oliver to the rest of the pack. And to try on his Winter gear.

OD on cuteness. What had I become?

And so, Oliver found a new home and we found a new dog and he is adjusting just fine.

Quincy thinks we're nuts and he's not quite sure Oliver is a dog.

It will all work out. Lotsa love in the air.

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